David Brody has never been an authoritative or trustworthy source for fact-driven news. But on his new show The Water Cooler on Real America's Voice, he's hit a new low with election conspiracy theories and vaccine misinformation, while providing a welcoming platform to QAnon conspiracy theorists — and credible journalists as well.
Brody, who serves as a chief political analyst at the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), famously uses his position as a pundit to advance the Republican Party’s agenda while smearing those he disagrees with and promoting far-right ideology. Brody and CBN also have a longstanding history of spreading anti-LGBTQ+, xenophobic, and dangerous anti-abortion rhetoric.
CBN and Brody had unfettered access to high-level officials in the Trump administration, and that allowed Brody to gain even more recognition as a reporter, especially after he landed one of President Donald Trump’s first interviews after the 2017 inauguration. But having access to these officials has not equated high-level reporting. Instead, Brody focused on giving softball interviews to members of the GOP, providing free airtime for Republican leaders to pander to their faith-focused audience and ignoring any semblance of actual fact-based interviewing.
As detailed by Vox in 2017, CBN’s shows have a tendency to ignore the journalistic duty of speaking truth to power and instead sell audiences “on the notion that the role of the news media should be to let power speak whatever truth it wants.” Brody, who described his calling as “a megaphone for God’s truth” and claimed that he reports the news “based on what evangelicals are saying and thinking,” has repeatedly shown his true colors as a sycophant for the GOP.
Before joining CBN, Brody worked his way up to a news director position at the Denver-based NBC News affiliate station KUSA-TV. He then worked as a radio reporter at Focus on the Family based in Colorado Spring, Colorado before starting at CBN in 2003.
For many years, Brody was a recurring guest panelist on NBC’s Sunday flagship show Meet The Press where he provided commentary on current events. According to a Media Matters analysis, Brody’s most recent appearance on Meet The Press was in early 2019. Brody has also appeared as a commentator on MSNBC, CNN and Fox News all as recently as 2020.
Brody now hosts The Water Cooler on Real America’s Voice, a far-right news broadcast. His show fully encompasses his disregard for journalism and showcases his devotion to pushing far-right narratives that often leads him to spreading dangerous misinformation.
Reporting demonstrates that white evangelicals are exceedingly vaccine-hesitant. Brody, who is a prominent evangelical media figure, encourages and enables this vaccine hesitancy through his endorsement of dangerous anti-vaccination misinformation both on social media and on his program, while the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant spreads rapidly through unvaccinated populations. On July 28, Brody's assertion that treatment of the unvaccinated was akin to Jim Crow led to a viral response.
Alongside Brody’s personal push of misinformation, he often hosts extremists and serial misinformers. Unfortunately, some members of the mainstream media also appear on Brody’s show, lending him credibility as a news source.
The Water Cooler is not a serious news show
On July 8, Brody listed off people he thought had disrespected the United States and who he would “love to jettison” to “freedomless countries” like Venezuela, Cuba, and Yemen. Brody’s list included actors Alyssa Milano and Robert DeNiro and comedian Kathy Griffin.
Brody concluded his list by suggesting that Rep. Ilhan Oman (D-MN) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) should be sent to the Gaza Strip where they can go “have fun” and “pick up a couple of rocks.” Brody was referring to the symbolic Palestinian gesture of throwing rocks at Israeli forces “in the face of hopeless and inevitable defeat that epitomized how many Palestinians feel about their conflict with Israel.”
On June 4, Brody ran an eight-minute segment discussing that “Trump was right” about various claims he made while in office. Brody said “the liberal media” is now “forced to write headlines about how Trump was right” and claimed that “liberal media publications” or those who are “no fan of Donald Trump” eventually came around to agreeing with Trump’s claims.
Some of the “liberal media publications” Brody pointed to included the right-leaning Daily Telegraph and the Rupert Murdoch-owned outlets Sky News and Fox Business.
During The Water Cooler on June 24, Brody mocked vaccine incentive programs from companies like Krispy Kreme, then saying, “We want you to get vaccinated, don’t we, Madison? Do we? I don’t know. Maybe we don’t.”
On July 5, Brody suggested that public school enrollment dropped 3% nationally because schools are “indoctrination centers.” He also claimed that public schools allowing transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice is “creepy” and part of the reason enrollment has dropped.
On May 3, Brody pretended to fumble California gubernatorial candidate Caitlyn Jenner’s preferred pronouns and said, “See, this is the thing. You know, I know, I know I have to say ‘her,’ right? But then, you know, the conservative Evangelicals are like, no, but it’s ‘his.’ Am I going to get in trouble with the pronoun police? I’m going to get in -- is there like a pronoun police? Look, all right, let me just keep referring to Caitlyn Jenner. I’ll just say Caitlyn Jenner.”
On July 27, Brody applauded groups in Europe for “taking to the streets” to protest coronavirus mitigation efforts and then equated asking someone about their vaccine status to asking them if they’ve had a vasectomy.
On July 28, Brody ranted against what he deemed mistreatment of the unvaccinated, invoking segregation, slavery, and leper colonies.
Brody hosts serial misinformers and extremists
A notable moment from Brody’s partisan circus includes Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-GA) appearance on The Water Cooler during which she called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) suggestion that unvaccinated members of Congress wear a mask to protect themselves from COVID-19 is “exactly the kind of abuse” Jews suffered during the Holocaust when “they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany.” Brody nodded along to her comments.
In response to the large-scale backlash from Greene’s comments, Brody suggested that the media “portrayed Congresswoman Greene’s comments inaccurately” and that she “wasn’t coming from a place of hate.” Greene has a history of making bigoted and antisemetic comments.
Brody also claimed that he was nodding along to Greene’s comments because he had been “expressing this exact same sentiment on the air for months regarding comparisons to Nazi Germany and how back then you had to show your ‘papers’ and today you have to show your ‘vaccine passport’” (which you don’t).
Brody also claimed he “got a bit caught up” on other topics, so he didn’t have time to push back against her antisemetic comment.
Even after the backlash, Brody continues to give Greene a warm welcome on his show.
On June 8, Brody interviewed Greene to discuss immigration, infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci, and LGBTQ+ pride month.
During the interview, Greene claimed Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden “invited” all immigrants to “come to our border and invade our country,” suggested without clear evidence that Fauci “is responsible” for the COVID-19 pandemic and that “American tax dollars were used to create COVID-19,” and proclaimed that it’s “pretty gross” that queer people want to celebrate their sexual identity.
On June 14, Brody invited Greene to the set of The Water Cooler where she suggested kids “don’t even know what gender is anymore” because of “woke theories” and claimed without evidence that “real election fraud occurred” in Fulton County, Georgia.
While speaking to Brody on July 6, Greene described a sexual education curriculum as “sick and disgusting,” claimed that critical race theory is “training children to be racist,” and suggested that investigations into the January 6 Capitol riots are a “witch hunt” on conservatives.
On June 21, Brody hosted former President Donald Trump to spew 2020 election disinformation. During the interview, Trump claimed he has “not conceded,” suggested that former Vice President Mike Pence “had the right” to overturn the 2020 election results, and proclaimed that “it’s going to be up to the public” whether or not he will be reinstated as president.
Brody did not push back against Trump’s conspiracy-driven comments and instead let him lie to his audience for 14 minutes.
On June 28, Brody interviewed former member of Congress Nan Hayworth (R-NY) to comment on coronavirus vaccines. Hayworth proclaimed that “if you have natural immunity” from COVID-19, “you don’t need a vaccine.”
Hayworth’s comments are in opposition to that of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which suggests “experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19” and recommends getting vaccinated. Hayworth’s comments could lead to some previously infected audiences of The Water Cooler to ignore health information that could greatly impact their wellbeing.
Also on June 28, Brody hosted Trump spokesperson and election misinformer Liz Harrington to cast doubt on the legitimacy of Biden’s presidency.
Harrington proudly proclaimed that “Joe Biden illegitimately took over" and said that “President Trump was winning this election in a landslide,” and Democrats “shut it down” and “used COVID to cheat.” Brody egged on Harrington’s misinformation and seemingly agreed with her comments laden with conspiracy theories.
On June 29, Brody hosted former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for a softball interview. During the show, Pompeo freely pushed the unproven coronavirus lab leak theory without any pushback from Brody.
Pompeo then went on to claim there is “not a single person” who isn’t “worried about what happened” in the 2020 election and suggested Americans are concerned about whether “the votes were counted right.”
Brody then handed Pompeo the opportunity to market his new political action committee, Champion American Values PAC (CAVPAC), by playing a short ad from the PAC and saying, “I want you to talk about your political action committee.”
On July 5, Brody hosted far-right provocateur Dinesh D’Souza to speak on investigations looking into individuals involved in the January 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol. During the interview, Brody described the investigations as a “witch hunt” and an attempt at “a mental deprogramming” of Trump supporters. D’Souza then defended the insurrectionists, claiming, “All these people wanted was an authentic vote count.”
Brody concluded his interview proclaiming that D’Souza was “exactly right.”
During The Water Cooler on July 12, Brody hosted Canadian far-right YouTuber Lauren Chen to cast doubt on COVID-19 vaccines. During the interview, Chen claimed there are “pretty good reasons” to not take the vaccine and suggested that Democrats are “using this pandemic as an excuse to increase authoritarian control on citizens.”
Chen’s comments come at a time when the majority of the current COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are among unvaccinated individuals.
On July 26, Brody hosted former Texas state Rep. Rick Green (R) to cast doubt on COVID-19 vaccines and spread misinformation.
During the interview, Green claimed “every one of us knows someone that has been harmed by the vaccine” and incorrectly stated that natural immunity from a previous COVID-19 infection is “much better immunity” than getting a vaccine.
Brody hosts credible journalists who give credence to his misinformation
On occasion, mainstream journalists appear on The Water Cooler. These appearances by reporters and journalists serve to give credibility to Brody’s misinformation. ABC News Political Director Rick Klein and media reporter Paul Farhi of The Washington Post have both appeared more than one time to discuss politics with Brody.
In one appearance, Farhi joined Brody for an interview to discuss social media censorship of Trump and a program to knock on doors to discuss the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines with vaccine-hesitant populations. Brody equated these topics to “fascism,” but Farhi staunchly disagreed.
Unfortunately for Farhi, the title of the interview listed on the Real America’s Voice website — Fascism under the Biden Administration? — is marketed to align with Brody’s propaganda.
Given Brody’s role as a mouthpiece and operative for the Republican Party agenda, news organizations and reporters need to take into account Brody’s biases before booking him on their shows or taking him seriously as a source for news analysis.